0310 GMT July 16, 2018
The mayor of the historic city of Yazd emphasized the need to revive the culture of cycling among the citizens, pointing out that the city has been recognized as the capital of cycling for ages.
"Municipality officials use bikes, rather than drive cars, to visit the construction projects in Yazd in order to reestablish the habit of cycling over the city," Mahdi Jamali-Nejad said in an interview with Iran Daily.
"Even I, as the mayor, use bicycle as much as possible," he said.
"Bike-riding has been very popular among the people of Yazd over the decades as every family owned several bicycles and they often used to commute long and short distances on bikes," Yazd mayor said.
He added: "Unfortunately, some people have gradually replaced bicycles by motorcycles and cars, but Yazd citizens are still into cycling."
Referring to Yazd's inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Jamali-Nejad said: "Due to the circumstances of the historical city of Yazd, the bicycle would be the most appropriate vehicle to travel in the city and also to preserve the ancient areas in Yazd."
Yazd’s mayor said that they attempt to introduce the city as a pilot scheme of cycling development through the country.
"Given that Yazd has been known as the city of bicycles since the distant past, it would be much easier to develop the culture of cycling in this city," he said.
Jamali-Nejad mentioned the measures taken by the municipality to facilitate cycling in the city, saying, “Since Yazd is not a large city and there are wide roads all over the city, we aim to develop specified routes of cycling and provide the required infrastructure so that all citizens of Yazd would enjoy a safe ride on bikes.”
Naming the numerous benefits of using bicycles, he said: “Nowadays, effective measures are designed in many countries to promote cycling on a public scale and people are encouraged to use public transport and bicycles.”
He also stated that if city officials and related organizations intend to develop the culture of cycling, the number of bicycles in the city of Yazd would surpass that of other vehicles.
It should be noted that Jamali-Nejad has been appointed as the cycling envoy of mayors by the Iran Cycling for All Committee, and was singled out as the outstanding mayor for the Iranian year 1396 (2017).